Heyward, Andrew

Dr Andrew Heyward

Senior Principal Research Scientist
Exploring Marine Biodiversity
Contact number
(08) 6369 4038
+61-8-6369 4038
Contact email

My interest in the reproductive processes of marine organisms commenced in the 1980s and has included continuing research with corals in both hemispheres. Expertise in coral reproduction is currently contributing to collaborations investigating pathways for reef restoration. 

While basic research on coral ecology continues to be an area of interest, the majority of recent effort has been associated with marine seabed biodiversity surveys. In north-western Australia these studies, including areas with offshore emergent reefs, submerged shoals on the Sahul shelf and fringing reefs along the Kimberley coast, are servicing the needs of marine management agencies focused on conservation and providing industry with targeted research underpinning sustainability.

PhD in Marine Biology, James Cook University

Current research is focussed on exploratory surveys of coastal and offshore habitats in north-west Australia and studies of coral biology related to early life histories. 

Expeditions to shelf & near-shore environments of the north-west, especially the diverse shoal ecosystems in offshore areas of the Sahul Shelf and the highly diverse and complex fringing coral reefs of the Kimberley coast are revealing the globally significant diversity of benthic marine habitats in the northwest and Timor Sea. Research work related to reef restoration is exploring new ways to assess coral recruitment and enhance post-settlement survival.


Foster T, Heyward AJ, Gilmour JP(2018)Split spawning realigns coral reproduction with optimal environmental windows. Nature Communications 9: 718. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03175-2

Heyward A et al. (2018) No evidence of damage to the soft tissue or skeletal integrity of mesophotic corals exposed to a 3D marine seismic survey. Marine Pollution Bulletin 129(1):8-13

Abdul Wahab MA, Radford B, Cappo M, Colquhoun J, Stowar M, Depzynski M, Miller K, Heyward A (2018) Biodiversity and spatial patterns of benthic habitat and associated demersal fish communities at two tropical submerged reef ecosystems. Coral Reefs https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-017-1655-9

Anthony K et al. (2017) New interventions are needed to save coral reefs. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 1420–1422 doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0313-5

Moore C, Cappo M, Radford B et al. (2017) Submerged oceanic shoals of north Western Australia are a major reservoir of marine biodiversity. Coral Reefs 36:719-734 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-017-1564-y

Davies HN, Beckley LE, Kobryn HT, Lombard AT, Radford B, Heyward AJ (2016) Integrating Climate Change Resilience Features into the Incremental Refinement of an Existing Marine Park. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0161094

Moore CH, Radford BT, Possingham HP, Heyward AJ, Stewart RR, Watts ME, Prescott J, Newman SJ, Harvey ES, Fisher R, Bryce CW, Lower RJ, Berry O, Espinosa-Gayosso A, Sporer E, Saunders T (2016) Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs. Scientific Reports 6: 32029

Edwards AJ, Guest JR, Heyward AJ, Villanueva RD, Baria MV, Bollozos ISF, Golbuu Y (2015) Direct seeding of mass-cultured coral larvae is not an effective option for reef rehabilitation. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 525: 105-116

Gilmour JP, Smith LD, Heyward AJ, Baird AH, Pratchett MS (2013) Recovery of an isolated coral reef system following severe disturbance. Science 340(6128): 69-71

Depczynski M, Gilmour JP, Ridgway T, Barnes H, Heyward AJ, Holmes TH, Moore JAY, Radford B, Thomson DP, Tinkler P, Wilson SK (2013) Bleaching, coral mortality and subsequent survivorship on a West Australian fringing reef. Coral Reefs 32: 233-238

Heyward AJ, Negri AP (2012) Turbulence, cleavage and the naked embryo: a case for coral clones. Science 335 (6072): 1064